Government of Canada expands Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to provide more support for southern Ontario businesses

News release

Minister Joly announced that $184 million in additional relief funding is now available for small- and medium-sized businesses in the region

October 2, 2020 – Waterloo, Ontario

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to protect millions of jobs, provide emergency support to families and keep businesses afloat as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. A central part of this is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), which helps support those who may not be eligible for other programs. Since the Fund was launched in May, over 12,000 businesses have been assisted through the RRRF, helping them keep their employees, cover costs and play a role in our economic recovery.

Since the launch of the RRRF, FedDev Ontario has provided critical support for southern Ontario’s businesses and other organizations, saving more than 43,000 jobs in the region. This includes support for those vital to the region’s economy and hit hardest by the pandemic, from main street and rural businesses to the tourism, technology and manufacturing sectors to women-led businesses.

Support for workers and businesses across southern Ontario

With the second wave upon us, businesses across southern Ontario need more support – now. That’s why the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced an additional $184 million for FedDev Ontario to help more businesses across southern Ontario through the RRRF.

The RRRF is a vital tool, supplementing the existing suite of federal relief measures to address the immediate needs of Canadians during the pandemic. This funding for FedDev Ontario is part of an additional $600 million in RRRF funding announced today for RDAs across the country. Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) will provide $30 million of FedDev Ontario’s additional funding to businesses in rural communities across southern Ontario.

For more information on the RRRF, including how to apply, please visit FedDev Ontario’s website. 


“Small- and medium-sized businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is here to help them, protecting over 43,000 jobs across southern Ontario. With the second wave upon us, we’ve heard clearly from businesses and workers that more support is needed. That’s why we’re enhancing and expanding the RRRF to help even more Ontarians. Our message to them is clear: we’ve been here for you with significant measures, we’re here for you now and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help our economy come back strong.”
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“COVID-19 has had a severe impact on small- and medium-sized businesses across all of southern Ontario. The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) has helped to save more than 43,000 jobs in this region, but there is still more to be done. Today’s announcement of additional funding through the RRRF will help many more local businesses survive the hardships caused by the crisis. Now more than ever, FedDev Ontario is playing a key role in delivering critical support to keep our businesses afloat while preparing for economic recovery.”
— Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario)

Quick facts

  • In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario was originally allocated a total of $252.4 million through the RRRF. Today’s announcement brings the total RRRF funding for southern Ontario businesses and organizations to $436.4 million.  

  • In addition to the hundreds of businesses receiving support directly, key FedDev Ontario investments made to-date through the RRRF include:

    • $50 million to help main street businesses and SMEs reignite their recovery and embrace a digital future.
    • $4.5 million to help Francophone businesses, not-for-profits and social enterprises in official languages minority communities (OLMCs).
    • $4 million to support women-led businesses in southern Ontario.
  • Recognizing the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on tourism in the region, FedDev Ontario has invested nearly $68 million in RRRF funding to support the recovery and growth of this important industry.  

  • Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), the Fund addresses gaps left by other federal relief measures and complements those already provided by other levels of government.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505

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